DiscoverThe Art of LongevityThe Art of Longevity Season 9, Episode 4: Marika Hackman
The Art of Longevity Season 9, Episode 4: Marika Hackman

The Art of Longevity Season 9, Episode 4: Marika Hackman

Update: 2024-04-12
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Marika Hackman's Big Sigh is everything a 4th album should be. Really good songs, good scheduling, sophisticated arrangements (brass and strings accompany many tracks). The album has variety - from the mysterious instrumental interludes of The Ground and The Lonely House (opening sides A and B of my/your bottle green vinyl copy) to stand out singles (Slime, No Caffeine) to epic album tracks (Hanging, The Yellow Mile). It has an impressive musicality and most of all, it has real depth. A truly great album is one you can climb into. Every listen reveals something new. Keep listening and your favourite songs will shuffle around changing places like a game of musical chairs. That’s Big Sigh.

A record such as this, in 2024, can reach a fleeting and lofty height of number 67 on the UK chart. So what’s wrong with the system here?

“Everything gets put on the little guy. Why has it become about artists and fans rather than labels driving the commerce? There should be a mutual respect between artist and fan, do they really want to see me on a selfie cam sending out a faceless message?”

But for an artist like Hackman, such frustration fights it out with gratitude on a daily basis. After all, she can make (expensive) records, get paid advances and take a full band on tour. Many ‘middle class’ artists operating in the same commercial layer as Marika cannot quite make it there.

What qualifies as the next level in this weird reality video game we call a career in music?

“It’s hard to break that ceiling to that next level - where it can run by itself - you need people to invest in you over the longer term, not just for one tour.  As artists we need to value ourselves more. We need to stop showing the industry that we are worthless. There can’t be an industry without us”. 

We need this to change. Because we deserve another four Marika Hackman albums, at least. Critically revered from her debut, the consensus (I read every review I can set eyes on) is that Hackman’s 4th studio album Big Sigh is her best work to date.

“Whenever I sit down to do a new record, it’s always about being better than the last one. To hear people say that my music has progressed to a new phase is like fuel to my fire. It’s lonely making records on your own, you can easily lose perspective”. 

As for the masterpiece, that is still to come. What happens after that is down to us. 

“I feel like I’ve got songs that are more classic that are yet to come. I used to dream about making a record that would transcend a generation, but now I just want to make a record that sounds like a classic record to me”. 

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The Art of Longevity Season 9, Episode 4: Marika Hackman

The Art of Longevity Season 9, Episode 4: Marika Hackman

The Song Sommelier